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Neighbors along Altamont Loop concerned over increased traffic, speeding

Neighbors have been fighting for speed reduction techniques for years. Now, traffic is increasing during the Thor and Freya construction closure.

SPOKANE, Wash. — With construction and road closures in full swing at Thor and Freya, an influx of drivers are turning to the Altamont Loop as a thoroughfare. The increased traffic is frustrating neighbors, who have noticed dangerous speeds along their neighborhood roads.

One issue is the three split intersections at the beginning of Altamont Loop which force drivers to veer into oncoming traffic in order to make the turn. 

The second issue neighbors consistently see is drivers speeding along North Altamont Blvd. Patrick McKann, who lives along North Altamont said he deals with the issues every day.

"I have to take a wide narrow turn to get into my driveway, and I've had people pass me and honk. I'm not the only one. This happens all up and down this street. It's a mile long that's completely unregulated," McKann said.

Neighbors created a group to bring attention to the speeders four years ago. Since they have been in contact with the city and independent traffic engineers to find potential solutions. 

McKann said they are hopeful for any change, including speed bumps, stop signs, roundabouts, or one-way roads. But the city has not implemented any speed control or pedestrian safety measures.

An independent study conducted in 2019 concluded approximately 1,200 cars use North Altamont Blvd daily. McKann said half of those cars are speeding.

"Our nine-year-old daughter's aunt lives up the street, and we're afraid to let her go walk and see her, because we know how crazy some of these drivers are," McKann said.

Since the city started construction on Thor and Freya, McKann says he's seen the volume of cars using North Altamont Blvd triple. McKann started a petition to bring attention to the increase in traffic and speeders. That petition has almost 150 signatures.

KREM 2 asked the City of Spokane why this neighborhood hasn't seen any change over the years.

City spokesperson Kirstin Davis said based on their most recent speed and traffic count, "while volumes increased between 2019 and 2021, they remain within typical residential volumes."

Davis also said the speed and traffic count found the average speed of drivers around the Altamont Loop is less than the posted 25 miles per hour speed limit.

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